Most people have a feeling of knowing something or reaching something that is not everyone else. They have a thirst for knowledge. And here’s what you need to know about PHP 7 – Tutorials, Features, Compatibility, and Performance.
Are you the owner of a website or a web developer? Does your site run on a custom PHP development framework such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla or Magento? Then this article is for you. Here, we will discuss everything about the latest version of one of the most popular programming languages in the world: PHP 7.
What Is PHP? – A Beginner’s Guide to PHP
PHP means – Personal Home Page, but it now stands for the recurring backronym PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
PHP code can be inserted in HTML code, or it can be used in conjunction with different web template systems, web content management systems, and web frameworks.
A Brief History of PHP
PHP was released by Rasmus Lerdorf as a scripting language in 1994 to make a tool that is easy to update their personalized homepage. * Very few people knew that this side-project would grow to provide power to more than 82% of websites – including * giants like Facebook and WordPress.
In the last few years, PHP has released some releases. The first version in 1995, then version 2.0 in 1997. Version 3.0 was released in 1998 and version 4.0 was released in 2000. PHP5 was launched in July 2004 after a long development and various pre-releases. PHP5.6 was released in 2014.
PHP7 was recently launched and it is the next stable version after PHP 5.6. The 6th edition of PHP was only a trial version that never reached the final release. It was not designed for production purpose and therefore PHP7 was launched by PHP developers to avoid confusion.
Moreover, On 30 November 2017, PHP7.2 was launched. And the launch of PHP7.3.6 on May 30, 2019 – The most recent update for this key scripting language. The update table hosts new features and functionality, including bug fixes and another boost in display speed.
What Is PHP 7?
PHP 7 was the major awaited release of the PHP language. Developers were working on creating PHP7 as a viable product for over a decade. Similarly, Cloudways engineers have worked hard to ensure that PHP 7 is implemented within the console when it is fully tested and is stable enough to be used.
Moreover, It is one of the super fast programming languages to work with. Now, with the release of PHP7, it is also one of the best and the most important programming languages. Developers have made the right changes and changes to ensure that this release helps in starting a new era for PHP. PHP7 can be easily described as a developer’s paradise. Because it is twice as fast as PHP 5.6 and has many new features and improvements from previous versions.
Major features of PHP7 Are
1. Scalar Type Declarations
PHP7 now added the scalar type declaration for int, float, string and boolean. Adding the scalar type announcement and enabling strict requirements ensures that more accurate and well-documented PHP programs can be written. It also helps you to gain more control over your code and makes the code easier to read.
2. Return Type Declarations
Return type declaration allows the creation of more robust applications and avoid passing and returning the wrong values from the tasks. Other benefits include Static Code Analyzer and IDE, which provide better information on the codebase when the DocBlocks are missing.
However, It is a vulnerable type of language. Some values will be inserted based on reference for parameters and return types. If we pass a value of type “3”, in which the int is a declared parameter, the interpreter will accept it as an integer and will not make any errors. If you do not want to do this, you can enable hard mode by adding an announcement instruction.
3. Reduced Memory Consumption
The all-new remarkable Zend Engine has been introduced. Another important thing to remember is that an advanced PHPNG engine (where NG stands for Next Generation in PHPNG) or Zend Engine 3.0 has changed the performance surprisingly. Obviously, this is the next level to improve memory usage. And you can easily serve more concurrent users without the help of any additional hardware
4. Performance & Speed
The most easily recognizable advantage of the new PHP engine is an important performance improvement. Development team reorganized its internal structure without making changes in its external behavior (improved) Zend Engine and optimized memory usage in a remarkable way. Using PHP7 will execute your code faster and you will only need some servers to serve the same amount of users.
5. Easy User-land CSPRNG
CSPRNG stands for ‘cryptographically safe pseudo-random number generator’. In cryptography, we require random numbers in the case of salts, non-generators, the one-time pad, etc. in some signature schemes. Therefore, CSPRNG has been named after this phenomenon.
There are two new functions in PHP7. Which are used in a cross-platform mode to generate cryptographically secure pseudo-random integers and stars? These works are as follows.
6. New Operators
PHP7 offers two contemporary operators which are as follows:
Spaceship Operator – The spaceship operator is represented in this way <=>. It is used to compare two expressions and -1, 0, 1 is compared. When a variable is less than, equal to or greater than the other variable.
Null Coalesce Operator -The Null coalescing operator represents this kind of ??. It is used to check whether the value is set or null. In other words, if the value exists and is not weak, then it returns the first operand. Otherwise, it returns the second operand.
7. Generator delegation
Generators are cool, but sometimes difficult to explain. The irony is that their use is surprisingly simple. This is all about the “yield” keyword. Using “yield”, a generator is returned with the value that is yield. A generator implements a recurrence which makes it easy to use in or loop it.
PHP community provides full support for all PHP versions from 4 to 7, including the latest 7.3, syntax checks, intelligence, and code implementation, and debugging codes with PHP debugger.
9. Anonymous Class
PHP7 allows programmers to run anonymous classes on the fly, something that C # and Java programmers are free to do for a long time. An anonymous class is a class without just a name, and the object that makes it instantaneous, its function is similar, which does the objects of the named classes.
It is simple to make anonymous classes: they use syntax similar to those enrolled classes. If the code is not required to document or will be used only once during execution. So, they are an excellent option to speed up both coding and execution.
10. Backward Compatible
Do you want to work with PHP7 and is it backward compatible? This release has removed many deleted tasks. The Zend Engine has been redesigned, which not only helps in smooth execution but also handles exceptions. Many fatal errors in hypertext preprocessor version seven have changed into an exception.
However, by removing the heritage work, some breaks are formed in backward compatibility. And these breaks made it difficult for older applications to move to the latest version.
PHP 7 and PHP 5 difference
In this paragraph, I’m going on discussing why PHP7 is better from PHP5.
The performance of PHP 7 and PHP 5 is a big difference. Assuming that you have written PHP code in PHP 5 if you run the same code in both versions, then the performance of PHP 7 will be much higher than PHP 5.
In PHP 5, the programmer can not define the return type of a function or method. PHP 7 allows programmers to declare returns type jobs according to the expected return value. This is definitely going to make the code strong and accurate. There are 4 different return types available – Bull, Int, String, and Float.
As you may know, PHP 5 does not support 64-bit integer or large files, but the scenario has changed to PHP 7. PHP 7 has 64-bit support due to which you will be able to use the original 64-bit integer as large files and therefore, you can run the application on 64-bit system architecture uniquely.
One of the major additions to PHP 7 which is not present in PHP 5 is the anonymous class. An anonymous class is a use to speed up execution time. This is appropriate when you do not need to perform a classroom more than once and you do not need to document it in the project document.
The release of PHP7 removed old and obsolete codes and paved the way for new features and performance upgrades in the future. Apart from this, PHP is expected to get additional performance optimization soon. Despite the breakdown of some compatibility with previous releases, most issues are easy to solve.
Libraries and frameworks are now moving their code into PHP7 and thus making the latest version available. So, I encourage you to try it. Your app might already be compatible and waiting to use and benefit from PHP7.
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